- - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NEW YORK — An appeals court said New York City cannot try to scare smokers by requiring grotesque images of diseased lungs and decaying gums at stores that sell cigarettes. It said the federal government gets to decide how to warn people about the dangers of smoking tobacco.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued its ruling Tuesday. It rejected a 2009 city Board of Health resolution requiring tobacco retailers to display signs bearing graphic images showing the adverse health effects of smoking.

The appeals court said the resolution is pre-empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, enacted by Congress in 1965.

Richmond-based cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris USA said it’s pleased with the court’s ruling. The city’s health department said the ruling is likely to reduce the number of smokers who quit.


Man to plead in plot to blow up Pentagon

BOSTON — A Massachusetts man charged with plotting to fly remote-controlled model planes packed with explosives into the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol will plead guilty to two charges, his lawyers and prosecutors said in a plea agreement filed in federal court Tuesday.

Rezwan Ferdaus, a Muslim-American from Ashland with a physics degree from Boston’s Northeastern University, was arrested in September after federal employees posing as al Qaeda members delivered materials he had allegedly requested, including grenades, machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4, a plastic explosive.

Prosecutors and Mr. Ferdaus‘ lawyers said he will plead guilty to attempting to provide material support to terrorists and attempting to damage and destroy federal buildings by means of an explosive.

The two charges carry a combined maximum of 35 years in prison, but under the plea agreement, prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to request a 17-year sentence.

A change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for July 20.

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to dismiss four other charges.


Thousands of warnings on wildfires not delivered

COLORADO SPRINGS — More than 20,000 evacuation calls were never delivered to residents in the path of a wildfire that destroyed about 350 homes around Colorado Springs last month, records show.

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